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Harvard Square

Harvard Square is not just another urban locality; it’s a cultural and intellectual hub that lies at the heart of Cambridge, Boston. Known for its rich history, vibrant atmosphere, and the prestigious Harvard University, this square is a melting pot of students, locals, and tourists. It’s a place where academia meets street performance, where history coexists with modernity, and where every corner has a story to tell.


The historical roots of Harvard Square can be traced back to the 17th century when the area was a colonial village centered around the newly established Harvard College, the oldest institution of higher education in the United States. Over the centuries, the square has evolved tremendously. It has witnessed the American Revolution, the growth of Harvard University, and numerous cultural and intellectual movements. The square has been a gathering spot for poets, philosophers, and revolutionaries. Its history is etched in the cobblestone streets and the antique brick buildings that define its landscape.


Harvard Square is renowned for its unique blend of history, culture, and education. It is home to Harvard University, which contributes to the area’s reputation as an intellectual hub. The square is also dotted with bookstores, cafes, and a diverse range of shops. Notably, the Out of Town News kiosk, which has been selling newspapers and magazines from around the world since 1955, is a historic landmark in its own right. The square is not only a haven for the intellectually curious but also a center of business and social life.


Harvard Square is located at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue, Brattle Street, and John F. Kennedy Street in Cambridge. It’s easily accessible by public transportation, with the Harvard Square subway station serving as a major transit point. The square’s central location makes it an ideal starting point for exploring the historic and academic offerings of Cambridge and the broader Boston area.


For up-to-date information on events, businesses, and news in Harvard Square, the official website is a valuable resource. The website provides comprehensive guides to dining, shopping, entertainment, and lodging in the area. Visitors can access the site at to plan their trip and discover all that the square has to offer.

Opening Hours

The square itself is an open public space accessible 24/7. However, the opening hours for businesses within Harvard Square vary. Retail stores typically open around 10 am and close between 9 pm and 10 pm, while restaurants and bars may have extended hours, with some closing as late as 1 am or 2 am. Always check the specific hours of operation for individual venues before visiting.

Things to Do

Harvard Square offers an array of activities for all interests. Visitors can tour the historic Harvard University campus, enjoy performances by street musicians and artists, or participate in one of the many festivals and events held throughout the year. The square is also a foodie’s paradise, with a variety of dining options ranging from casual eateries to upscale restaurants. Book lovers can lose themselves in the famous Harvard Book Store, while theater enthusiasts can catch a show at the American Repertory Theater.

Tips For Visiting

  1. Plan Ahead: Check the calendar for special events and plan your visit accordingly.
  2. Wear Comfortable Shoes: Harvard Square is best explored on foot, so comfortable footwear is a must.
  3. Public Transportation: Take advantage of the subway and buses to avoid the challenge of finding parking.
  4. Explore Side Streets: Venture off the main paths to discover hidden gems and quieter spots.
  5. University Tours: Consider joining a guided tour of Harvard University for insightful historical and current perspectives.
  6. Weather-Appropriate Clothing: New England weather can be unpredictable; dress in layers and be prepared for changes.
  7. Local Eats: Try local specialties and support small businesses during your visit.
  8. Cultural Venues: Check the schedules for theaters and museums to catch a performance or exhibition.


Harvard Square is more than just a landmark; it’s a dynamic and ever-evolving testimony to the history and culture of Cambridge and Boston. With its eclectic mix of academia, arts, dining, and entertainment, the square offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, a prospective student, or simply a curious traveler, Harvard Square welcomes you with open arms and countless stories. It stands as a symbol of the intellectual spirit and cultural richness of the area, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in its unique atmosphere and create their own Harvard Square memories.

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